Luxury fashion company Balenciaga will debut its next clothing collection in a video game on December 6th, according to WWD. Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow is an “allegorical adventure” set in the year 2031, in which “a hero avatar advances throughout distinct zones, motivated by tasks and interactions.” As game descriptions go it’s not the most detailed — it could apply to every video game from Super Mario through to Wolfenstein — but obviously the focus here is the company’s fall 2021 collection. Input reports that the Afterworld will be playable through browsers.
Like many other industries, the world of fashion has had to reckon with how to drum up excitement in a year where big in-person launches are impossible. Approaches have differed between fashion houses, The Guardian reports, with some opting for small-scale runway shows with a limited number of attendees, while others have turned to livestreaming their events online. Belenciaga has already experimented with an online format to show off its Summer 21 pre-collection that consisted of a slickly produced video set to the song I Wear My Sunglasses at Night.
Apparently the fashion house’s upcoming collection is based on the theme of human destiny, “as seen by an interactive, gamified journey.” It shows “the slow return to a healthier balance of nature and industry,” and completing the game rewards you with a “a real-life breathing exercise set in a virtual utopia.” In other words, don’t expect this to be the next high-octane eSports hit.
Over the years, video games have provided the venue for numerous non-video game launches. In 2017 Porsche debuted the 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS onstage at Microsoft’s E3 conference when it announced the car would be on the cover of Forza Motorsport 7, and Guns n’ Roses song ”Shackler’s Revenge” debuted in Rock Band 2. Even Weezer got in on the action when it debuted songs from its Black Album in Fortnite.
The world of video games and fashion have been particularly frequent collaborators recently. League of Legends developer Riot Games announced last year that Louis Vuitton would be designing new in-game and real-world items themed around the game. Other high profile collaborations have included Travis Scott’s incredibly limited-edition PlayStation sneakers, and fashion brand Acronym actually made a jacket inspired by Death Stranding and sold it for $1,785. There have also been more accessible fashion collaborations thanks to Animal Crossing, where 100 Thieves released virtual versions of its clothing earlier this year.